In August we took a little family camping trip to Honeyman State Park. David had been there growing up, but the kids and I had never been.
We (just Dave and I) had a trip planned to Mexico in August for our ten year wedding anniversary, and the closer we got to it, the more I felt guilty for leaving the kids behind...so in late July, I decided it would be a great idea to have a family camping trip on the books for right after Dave and I returned, that way I knew tons of great Family Time was right around the corner and would in turn feel less guilty for leaving them behind while we frolicked for six days in Mexico. (It did work. We had a blast. Pics to come at some point.)
So, this trip was borne of guilt.
But God blessed it anyways =)
It seemed like every campground I looked at was booked solid. (That's what you get when you wait until about three weeks from when you want to rent a site. In the middle of summer. In Oregon.) I just went down the Oregon State Parks website alphabetically...hoping some place still had sites available for the few days we could make it work.
Lo and behold, Honeyman had a few tent sites left to reserve! Hallelujah!
We ended up LOVING the site we had. It was across from the bathrooms, but not right next door. It backed up into a large forest space, complete with trails that took you exploring a bit, and then looped you right back to our spot...a 4 year olds dream!
This was also Abbey and Luke's first time tent camping. We'd done cabin camping before, and yurt camping, but hadn't been brave enough to do tents yet.
Pre-kids, Dave and I used to tent camp all the time...but I'd always been nervous about the lack of walls in a tent and the affect it could have on sleeping babies/toddlers.
The kids both did awesome and were great sports about everything, the entire time. They were definitely ready, which thrills me! Hooray for a future with many, many family bonding trips without great expense!
The sand toys we brought also worked great for dirt!
This picture below makes me smile for several reasons. One is because the tent on the right is the one Dave and I registered and got for our wedding, when it was just the two of us planning camping adventures. The tent on the left is the one we purchased right before this trip, during our tenth year of marriage. I love how our Tenting Needs have changed in the last decade =).
Luke had told us before we left that he wanted to sleep in the little tent by himself. We knew he'd totally change his mind once we were there, but packing up the tent and setting it up and letting him realize this all himself was far easier than us trying to convince him that we knew better.
We ended up using it a lot as a dressing/catch-all tent, which came in really handy!
Our little campers =)
Our first night there we played a few rounds of Go Fish...
And then after the sun went down, we put these two cuties to bed in the tent, and we hung out (right next to the tent) by the fire and played cards ourselves =) I had thought the kids would have trouble falling asleep being able to hear us chatting, but they crashed without any trouble!
It was a little chilly when we woke up the next morning, so Daddy got a fire going right away...
Luke exploring the woods behind our site...
We then went and climbed the sand dunes!
(that's Luke at the top left and Abbey on her way up!)
And played in the lake!
We had incredible weather the whole time we were there. Warm and sunny all day long, with just a chill in the evenings and early mornings (all the better for cuddling =) )
Ohmyword I love this kid.
We came back in the late afternoon and it was time to hit the showers...
And we stayed clean for almost ten whole minutes!!
We went and played at the playground...
We played cards again that night, made S'Mores, and cuddled by the fire. We all slept great both nights, which was such a blessing.
The next morning, David got up before us and got the fire going, and when I heard the twins starting to wake up, I invited them into cuddle with me...
...which may have been my favorite part of the whole camping trip.
Dave taught both kids how to be very careful near the fire...
We had such a great time, and David and I were both thrilled with how the kids entertained themselves (and each other) easily around the campsite. We all went 48+ hours without any electronics, and no one in our family missed them. Good to know.
The kids rode their scooters...
...and explored and read books and colored in coloring books and played in the dirt and went on adventures and just all around did awesome =).
Our last morning there, we went back to the lake and rented a pedal boat!
We had to wait for a bit, so these two goons screwed around for a bit...
...and I joined 'em....
And then it was boat time!
(yes, Luke insisted on leaning over the edge)
The kids each took turns steering the boat.
They were terrible at it.
But they had fun!
And before we knew it, it was time to break camp and head back home...
Today's post will be all about our sweet Abigail Mae. I want to always remember how much fun she was at four and a half years old...
Abbey was a difficult infant. She cried a lot. Like, A LOT, a lot. I sometimes worried if she'd ever be happy! Looking back I realize it was really ignorant to worry much about personality in the first three months of ones life. But it was my first time having babies and I didn't know any better. And I was utterly exhausted, so everything seemed like a really big deal.
I have a picture I took of her at about seven weeks old, where she is just chilling in her bouncy seat, calmly. It was note worthy, because it was the first time it had happened for more than three minutes.
Three minutes. In seven weeks.
She was a fussy baby, I tell ya.
Anyways, now she is just such a little delight! And she really has been for years. She is so goofy, and full of spunk. She is one of the most nurturing people I know as well.
Abbey loves animals. LOVES them. All kinds. If she sees a dog, she immediately looks up to Dave or I and asks "can I go ask if I can pet their puppy?"
And she always wants to know their name before petting them.
She's respectful like that =).
She wants to pet any cat she can...
And she's Dory's best friend (and ardent defender) in our family...
She's adorably silly. She cracks us up all the time around here!
She is incredibly detailed and thoughtful when she is doing anything creative...
She's super fun to play games with, and while very self-assured and competitive, she's also a pretty gracious loser.
She can be as stubborn as a freaking mule.
Seriously. When Abigail Mae digs her feet in, prepare to battle.
But can I tell you secret?
I kind of dig that about her.
Whenever she's arguing with me about something, or freaking out about something that she wants and is not getting, there is a tiny part of me that's like YES. Yes baby girl. You be a FIGHTER. You don't give up on your hopes, dreams or even thoughts without a fight. If it's important to you, you go down swinging.
But it's a tiny part of me that digs it. A large part of me is exhausted by it =).
But then she's just as quick to drop all defenses and go into nurturing mode if anyone she loves is sick or hurting. She instantly wants to take care of them. She is so sweet the way she loves to just sort of stand guard next to the injured party...stroking hair or just sitting near to be available in any way.
She loves being helpful and is often asking "is there any chores around here I can do?"
(And we're taking full advantage of this stage while it lasts!!)
Oh look, a cat stopped by to say hello...
She loves to play, and loves to get dirty...
I love how confident she is in new situations. I never EVER would have guessed she'd be this way at four years old during her first year of life. She didn't really like people or new places and was so clingy to me. And now she just walks into new situations and joins right in. It's amazing.
She and Luke both played soccer this summer, and then Luke took baseball classes while Abbey took basketball. She was the only girl with about seven other boys her age.
And she never even noticed.
I totally dig that about her =).
I'm sure part of it comes from growing up side by side with a twin brother, but part of it also comes from being comfortable in her own skin. I pray she always feels that way.
When you see our Abbeygirl, you almost always see a lovey animal with her. Her favorite lovey of all time is Wiley (a white stuffed little lamb, whom she deemed a kitty very early on, and whom we also thought was given the moniker "Whitey", until like last month when Dave and I learned she had in fact been saying "Wiley" for years. Dave and I were seriously stunned. Luke knew all along. Must be a twin thing.)
Snuggling with Ellie while watching a show on the laptop...
Bringing Scratchy to Church with us one morning...
So there you have it. Our sweet Abigail Mae at 4.5 years old. Such a joyful gift from God. We are so proud to be her parents.
Hmmm...where to begin?? I have been married for 10 years to a wonderful man, and after more than 2 1/2 years of waiting, hoping and praying, we were blessed with the most beautiful twins! Lucas and Abigail were born in March of 2010 at 38 weeks. God has been so gracious to us. We also have 2 adorable cats who tolerate us because we continue to feed them. I love Jesus, my family, my friends, a good cup of coffee, the beach, sleeping in, sunshine and witty banter. I choose to describe myself as "passionate" about most things. I can turn almost any moment into a kleenex moment, but that's ok... because I would rather feel too much than not enough, ya know?